Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 10 November, 2013

"But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious,
longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth" (Psalm 86:15)

Morning Service - 11:00 AM

The Profit of Believing  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Romans 4
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 23

I. What We Believe
II. How It Profits
III. Whom It Profits
Psalms: 95:1-7; 51:1-7; 62:1-2, 5-8; 32:1-2, 5-6

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

The Man of Sin (11)
True Christians Will Not Worship the Man of Sin  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Revelation 13
Text: II Thessalonians 2:13-14

I. The Reason
II. The Contrast
III. The Thanksgiving
Psalms: 145:1-8; 51:8-14; 33:10-17; 62:1-2, 5-8

For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services, contact Stephen Murray
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart or the elders

CPRC Website: • Live Webcast:
CPRC YouTube:
CPRC Facebook:

Quotes to Consider

John Calvin: "One can easily and readily prattle about the value of works in justifying men. But when we come before the presence of God we must put away such amusements. How shall we reply to the heavenly judge when He calls us to an account. Let us envisage for ourselves that Judge. Not as our minds naturally imagine Him, but as He is depicted for us in Scripture. By whose brightness the stars are darkened, by whose strength the mountains are melted, by whose wrath the earth is shaken, whose wisdom catches the wise in their craftiness, besides whose purity all things are defiled, whose righteousness not even the angels can bear, who makes not the guilty man innocent, whose vengeance when once kindled penetrates to the depths of hell. Let us behold Him, I say, sitting in judgment to examine the deeds of men. Who will stand confident before His throne? The answer is the man who is justified by faith alone and only that man."

Herman Hoeksema: "Indifference [towards the church] reflects … a selfish attitude, concerned only about one’s individual salvation and about how little Christianity is necessary for that salvation—not concerned about the church, about the truth, about the cause of Christ and the glory of God … When people do not care, when a church is not on guard, then the way is open for false prophets to introduce all kinds of error into the church with impunity, and thus to lead the church in the wrong direction."

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

We welcome Henry & Barb DeVries from Randolph PRC in Wisconsin to our worship services today.

On the back table today are new updated trifold leaflets introducing the CPRC. Take some to pass on to others. Box sets of CDs of the Heidelberg Catechism Conference held in Hudsonville PRC in October are available for £6.

Monday Catechism: Bradley, Samuel (Beginners NT) - 5:30PM
Alex, Nathan (Juniors OT) - 6:15PM
Jacob, Joseph (Seniors OT) - 7:00PM
Timothy (Essentials of Reformed Doctrine) - 7:45PM

Tuesday Bible study meets at 11 AM to conclude our study of Christ’s sabbath arguments and their lessons for us.

Belgic Confession Class meets this Wednesday at 7:45 PM to continue with article 21b on the cosmic significance of Christ’s particular atonement.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) is entitled "The Strong and Holy One" (Isa. 40:25-26).

Offerings: General Fund - £558.47. Building Fund - £231.45. Donations: $1,200, $250 (translator fund), £20 (pamphlets), £11.50 (pamphlets), £6.50 (books).

Website Additions: 1 Hiligaynon and 2 Hungarian translations.

The Coming of the Kingdom: Christianizing the World?

(the Introduction of Prof. Engelsma’s new pamphlet)


For more than one hundred years, now, Reformed Christians—Calvinists—especially in Europe and North America, have had dinned into our ears by fellow Calvinists that it is our solemn duty to "Christianize" our nation and, indeed, all the world.

This mandate originated with the influential Dutch Reformed theologian, churchman, and politician, Abraham Kuyper, and with his colleague, the brilliant Dutch Reformed theologian, Herman Bavinck. "Christianizing" the world was the theme of Kuyper’s six "Stone Lectures" at Princeton in 1898. These lectures have been published as the book, Lectures on Calvinism.

Basic to this gigantic project for the Dutch theologians of the past century was God’s "common grace." According to Kuyper and Bavinck, in addition to His special, saving grace, which God gives only to the elect, God has another, entirely different grace, which He gives to all humans. This grace, in reprobate, ungodly, anti-Christian men and women, does three things: It restrains sin in them, so that they are no longer totally depraved; it enables them to do good works in civil society, including especially their impressive cultural works—Aristotle’s philosophy, Beethoven’s symphonies, and Shakespeare’s plays; and it develops a good, even godly, culture, or way of life, in a society and nation.

Every knowledgeable Reformed believer recognizes immediately the contradiction of the Reformed confessions by this teaching of common grace. The Canons of Dordt ascribes whatever order there is in ungodly society, works of ungodly men and women that appear good outwardly, and the marvellous cultural and scientific achievements of the wicked, not to grace, but to nature: "glimmerings of natural light" and "the light of nature."

Especially the third, alleged operation of common grace is important for the Calvinistic "Christianizing" of the nation and the world. Christians supposedly share common grace with the wicked and, therefore, can and must cooperate with the ungodly, by this common grace, to make their society and finally the entire world Christian. In volume two of his three volume work on common grace, Kuyper wrote that "there is beside the great work of God in special grace also that totally other work of God in the realm of common grace." Kuyper went on to declare that common grace is the power of "the great work that God is doing to consummate the world’s development."

Similarly, Bavinck wrote that by the power of "common grace," which he shares with the ungodly, the believer "presses forward to the conquest of the entire world."

Promoting this mission of Calvinist Christians in North America today is the Christian Reformed Church (CRC), especially through its Christian school system, and more especially through its colleges. The Christian colleges of the CRC confront the students with the calling, "Christianize America! Christianize the world!" as their solemn calling from God. The schools see as one of their main purposes that they prepare the students to transform society into a Christian kingdom.

The CRC is not, however, the only proponent of this project. Many non-Reformed evangelicals have also been preaching this mandate, for example, the late Charles Colson.

The Roman Catholic Church has long had this conviction, understanding by the Christianizing of the world bringing the world under the control of the pope. One agency in North America carrying out Rome’s mission is the Acton Institute. The stated mission of the Acton Institute is "to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles ... within Judeo-Christian morality."

It is significant that the Roman Catholic Acton Institute is presently cooperating with the Dutch Calvinists of Kuyper College in Grand Rapids, Michigan and other Reformed theologians to translate into English and publish Abraham Kuyper’s three volumes on common grace. In this cooperation with Rome, the Calvinists are faithful disciples of their theological and ideological master, Abraham Kuyper. Kuyper advocated that Reformed Christians cooperate with Roman Catholics in Christianizing nations and the world, and he himself practiced this cooperation in his effort to Christianize the Netherlands.

Evangelicals have joined with Roman Catholics to fight the culture wars in North America. Fighting the culture wars is part of the effort to Christianize North America. The organization that unites evangelicals and Roman Catholics to fight the culture wars is "Evangelicals and Catholics Together" (ECT). Involved are such evangelical luminaries as Colson, Richard Mouw, and J. I. Packer and such prominent Roman Catholics as Richard John Neuhaus, Avery Dulles, and George Weigel. These and other prominent evangelicals insist that such efforts, involving cooperation with Roman Catholics, are right, indeed necessary, as the calling from God to Christianize America in the face of the rampant demonizing of American culture by the powers of darkness.

And then there is the militant movement of Calvinists bent on Christianizing the United States known as Christian Reconstruction. For Christian Reconstructionists, disciples of R. J. Rushdoony, himself influenced by Kuyper, the one, main calling of Reformed churches and believers is to rule the nation, thus controlling the culture. Anyone who declines this calling is charged with practicing "impotent religion." This band of cultural warriors is motivated by the conviction of their victory within history. This victory is the guarantee of their postmillennial eschatology.

All these advocates of making the way of life in nation and world Christian present their project as the coming of the kingdom of God. Their message is: God is king over all with absolute sovereignty, and this sovereign kingship extends over all of human life—politics; science; education; art—all. As Christians, indeed Calvinistic Christians, who know and confess God’s sovereignty, we must press God’s claims in all spheres of earthly life. As we work at this, we may expect God’s kingdom to come, in answer to our prayer in the second petition of the model prayer ("Thy kingdom come"), by virtue of our own aggressive labours and hard struggles, and, in the thinking of the CRC and its allies, by the power of common grace, which, we must not forget, is also working in the world of the ungodly (difficult as it may be to see this in AD 2013).

Confronted with this calling to Christianize the world from many quarters, and warned that if we say no we shall be judged as Anabaptists, guilty of the cowardly and unbiblical activity of "world flight," we address the issue of the relation of the Christian to the culture of his or her nation and of the world: "The Coming of the Kingdom: ‘Christianizing the World’?"

The question mark in the title of this article suggests that neither is the Christianizing of the world as a calling of Reformed Christians an established fact, nor is it established that the kingdom of God comes by a Christianizing of the world. Both notions are questionable. This article questions the notions.